November 2019 Newsletter

Prospect United Methodist Church

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C.A.L.M. in our Chaos: Giving Thanks

For the past six weeks, we have been seeking C.A.L.M. in our Chaos from five short verses penned by the Apostle Paul.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, strengthened by the presence of the Risen Christ, Paul writes,

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Paul tells us to Celebrate always (“rejoice”); Ask God for help in all things (through prayer and petition), Leave our concerns with Jesus (keep your hearts and minds guarded in Christ), and Meditate (think about noble, pure, lovely and praiseworthy things).

Tucked neatly in the center of these hall of fame verses are two powerful words:

With Thanksgiving.

In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, how do we stay calm?

One key is to give thanks for our many blessings.

Culture tells us, “You’re just one blessing away from real happiness.”

Faith helps us to embrace a sense of gratitude for all that we have already received.

With the next stroke of his pen, Paul declares, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). That’s an amazing statement given the visible reality of Paul’s circumstances. He is in prison. He has no hope for release. His wrists are shackled (not an easy way to write). While we prepare for turkey dinners, Paul’s next meal will be some stale bread, washed down with dirty water. His last beating has left him with a few more broken bones. The wounds from his lashes are an infected mess given his deplorable conditions and lack of access to “adequate health care.”

Yet Paul knows “the secret of being content.”

Paul has been betrayed…but Jesus has promised to never leave Paul.

Paul has experienced his share of failures…but Jesus is greater than Paul’s sin.

Paul knows the reality of sickness and pain…but Jesus has promised to heal Paul (on this side of

the grave and/or the other).

Paul knows the sting of disappointment…but Paul knows that Jesus’ plans will prevail.

Paul is facing the reality of death…but Paul knows that Jesus has conquered the grave.

Betrayal, failure, sickness, disappointment, and death cannot steal Paul’s joy…because Paul’s life is anchored to Jesus.

Do these words from Paul feel like a promise from the Wizard of Oz?

Let me be honest, sometimes it can be hard for me to grab hold of such CALM in the midst of the storm and gratitude in the midst of the want.

I am learning that the movement from chaos to contentment takes intentional practice.

I believe this is precisely why Paul tucks his “with thanksgiving” between his encouragement to pray about all things while remembering that Jesus is always near and the wise instruction to meditate on all that is good (in a world where it is so easy to see what is going wrong).

This November, let’s make “Thanksgiving” more than a 1-day celebration. Consider joining me by daily journaling all that you have to be thankful for. You may only write down one word each day. But at the end of the month, you’ll have a long list of reasons to be grateful. Of course, I’m hoping that Jesus’ presence in your life will be at the top of that list.

<><, Pastor Steve

* Thank you, Max Lucado for offering the C.A.L.M. acronym in our chaos.

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November 2019 calendar below!

You can also download the printable version by clicking on the link!

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Treasurer's Report

Fall is really here. You can tell by the leaves changing, the cooler days and nights and the fields are ready for harvest. This is my favorite time of year. Not that I like what comes next.

We have been blessed this year in that we have been able to pay all of our obligations and Conference askings, but the finance has noticed a short fall in the past several months in the giving. This is of concern for all of us as we look to the higher needs that come with the season. I want to share with you an article I read from “Simple Matters”. The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25. No matter how much or how little you have throughout your life, always be generous. Generosity doesn’t come from pity or from obligation. Rather, a generous spirit comes from a heart that is overflowing with gratitude.

Some people are afraid to be generous because they fear they won’t have enough left for themselves. This is utterly backward. “try it!” God says about giving Him our offerings. “ Let me prove it to you!” Your crops will be abundant” (Malachi 3:10-11). What that says to us is this: God will bless us in ways we haven’t even thought of—if only we will be generous.

Please remember the church when you think of the holidays and all the blessings you have had this year, and hope to have during this wonderful season.

One of the great blessings through our church is the Annual Turkey Supper and our reaching out to the community by opening our doors to everyone. WE have the opportunity to work together and serve all these people for one special time. Thank you to everyone who served.

Have a great Fall season.

God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer

2020 Every Member Commitment Stewardship Campaign

Thanks to the connectedness offered through social media, I saw that the daughter of some close friends graduated from Navy Boot Camp last Saturday. The whole family gathered for pictures while the proud parents offered their thoughts about the weekend activities. I was surprised to see a completely different set of pictures on Facebook the very next day…pictures of the same couple out in the fields of their family farm.

I called the couple last week to catch up. In the midst of the conversation, I shared how impressed I was with their quick turnaround. Their response came as no surprise. They have a sense of urgency regarding the harvest. With rain (and snow) in the forecast, there was no time to waste. The fields were ready and no one else was going to harvest the crops for them.

It reminded me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 9 when He said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” The Lord of the harvest is God. The workers include all those who have, through prayer, responded to God’s call of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

100 years ago, the average farm in America was roughly 140 acres (thank you, Google).

Today, the average farm in the US is 442 acres, roughly 10 city blocks by 10 city blocks for us city folk, with more than 30,000 farms in the US larger than 2000 acres (thank you, US Farm Data).

Farms today are larger than ever, even though there are fewer workers available to get the actual work done. This is possible only because advancements in technology have enabled farmers to get more done with less help. But, as my friends have discovered, the lack of helpers has made farming as stressful as ever. The risk of not getting the crops harvested in time is real.

As my farm relatives have often told me, “It’s not that learning to be a good famer would be too difficult for most people, it’s just that too few people are interested in farming. Everyone loves the product; no one wants to be a part of the process.”

Like the acreage of a typical American farm, the footprint of Prospect has grown dramatically over the past 50 years. From a family church planted in the heart of Dunlap, our mission field has expanded to include much of North Peoria. A larger field means we have a larger potential “crop.” Less workers threatens to leave much of mission field “unharvested.”

Much work still needs to be done in our community. To bring in the harvest, we need teachers, youth mentors, children’s ministry servants, prayer warriors, worship leaders, older adult visitation specialists, outreach visionaries and missional servants. All hands are needed on deck.

As I think ahead to 2020, and the DEEP and WIDE vision God has for Prospect, I can’t help but think of my farming friends. They have a sense of urgency when they look at their ready for harvest fields. If the harvest isn’t gathered, it will rot where it has been planted.

Time is short. The need is great. Jesus encouraged His followers to pray for the Lord of the harvest (of souls) to raise up workers. Today, your church leadership teams are similarly praying for you to make your commitment of time, talent, and finances to our mission of making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the Peoria area (our family farm) and the world. As you peruse the many opportunities for service at Prospect, and as you consider your financial commitment to the church, please do so with a sense of urgency and a tremendous sense of excitement: the fields are ripe for the harvest and God wants to use you to be a part of the harvest!

<><, Pastor Steve

"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” - Matthew 9:35,37-38


If you have not yet returned your 2020 Every Member Commitment Stewardship Campaign pledge sheet, we hope that you will be able to do so soon. If you have not received the 2020 Stewardship Campaign Binder (from your neighborhood group) or a pledge card in the mail, feel free to contact the church office. We will get pledge information (that includes both service opportunities and the opportunity to make a financial pledge to Prospect in 2020) to you.


If you use the Automated Withdrawal System to make your regular offerings to Prospect, and your pledge will include a change in your giving amount (or you want to change the timing of your withdrawals), you will need to complete a new Automated Withdrawal Form. The forms will be located in the binders you will receive during the Stewardship campaign or you can download a copy below.

As always, your commitments of time, energy and finances are all greatly appreciated!

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Come get your goodies at the annual Mary Martha Bake Sale on Sunday, November 24th before and after services!

This is one of our big fundraisers for the year with all proceeds going towards missions. If you would like to prepare something for our bake sale we will take any baked good: cookies or bars, pies, rolls, breads, pastries, cakes (anything that could be served over Thanksgiving).

Bake Sale prep is set for 2:00pm on Nov. 23. See you at the sale!


Hanging of the Greens will be held on Sunday, November 24th following our JOINT worship service at 9:45 AM.

The United Methodist Men will be serving a light lunch around 11:30 AM. We will plan to decorate after worship and finish up following lunch.

The Hanging of the Greens is a great family event and is a wonderful opportunity to fine tune our focus on the Advent season. All are welcome to attend and we look forward to kicking off the Advent season with all of our PUMC Family and Friends!

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If you would like to purchase a poinsettia to help decorate the church sanctuary during the Christmas season, please sign-up from November 17th-December 1. Cost of the poinsettias will be $10/plant. Sign-Up Sheet will be available in the gathering area.


March to the Manger/Christmas Eve offering

This year’s March to the Manger is scheduled for Sunday, December 22nd during the 8:45 AM service. Each year, following the choir’s cantata, the congregation is given an opportunity to bring a special offering to the manger as a present for Christ and his work through the Missions Ministries/Partnerships of Prospect UMC. This offering, along with the entirety of the offering received during our 7:00 Christmas Eve service will go to support the missions budget of the church (i.e. We do not keep any of these special offerings for our own budget needs. We give them away as a means of reminding ourselves that“Christmas is not our birthday.”).

This year’s missions budget has been approved at $13,300. Of course, realizing the

vision of this budget is fully dependent upon your generosity. As you pray about your gift to the manger & Christmas Eve offering, you might consider a contribution that is equal in value to the most expensive gift you plan to purchase this Christmas or you might consider offering a tithe (10%) of your entire Christmas present budget.

Either way, let us all work together to ensure that Jesus remains at the center of our Christmas focus. Thank you for your gift to the Christ child… a gift that will spread Christmas love to those in need!


Join us at 7:00 pm on December 24th for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service as we celebrate the birth of King Jesus!

This service will include our bell and vocal choirs and the proclaiming of the Gospel Story. Join us for communion, along with our tradition of singing Silent Night as candlelight fills the sanctuary.


We will be de-decorating the church on Sunday, January 5th, 2020. Early service helpers will be packing up the Fellowship Hall and Gathering Area following the 8:45 service. Second service helpers will be packing up the Sanctuary and any other spots still needing de-decorated following the 10:45 service. All are invited to stay and help.

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Although we have not yet received Chaddock Children information, we hope to begin the annual "Share a Little Christmas" gifting event by November 17th after 8:45 AM worship.

"Share a Little Christmas" is our annual opportunity to provide Christmas gifts for the residential youth at Chaddock Children’s Home in Quincy, IL. Chaddock is one of five (non-profit) agencies supported by the Methodist Great Rivers Conference. These children (grade school age through teens) have experienced trauma and neglect in their young lives. The caring staff at Chaddock have been working with each child trying to create a “wish list” of first, second and third choice clothing sizes when possible.

The process: Select a child. (Approximately 50 will be available.) We at PUMC must have your name and contact information and know who you selected. Lists will be available in the Gathering Area (tentatively) after the 8:45 worship service on November 17th.

Shop: It is not necessary to buy all gift choices listed. Often, gift choices have been expensive. You are encouraged to partner with others (even non-PUMC friends) and share the shopping and expense.

Include: Clothing items (with gift receipts) and a Christmas stocking with miscellaneous items (ex: gloves, candy, chapstick, fast food gift cards).

Return your unwrapped gifts in a new duffle bag by December 1st visibly labeled with the child’s name and cottage name.

Options: You may include a Christmas card with only first names revealed. Return gifts by December 1st to the outer office. Gift cards are always acceptable. You can contact the church office and request a volunteer shopper (you pay, they shop). If puzzled, contact Vicky Brown (243-5497/397-1564).

Have fun, be creative, it’s Christmas after all! Thank you for taking the opportunity to “love” our neighbors at Chaddock!



“Let’s also think about how to show love and to do good works...Encourage each other.”

-Hebrews 10:24, 25b, Common English Bible


Right now there are UMC young people—who might not have had the resources to attend a school of their choice, or, for some, any school at all—who’ve been sent by you into the world God loves because of your giving to United Methodist Student Day. When you give generously you are support these students as they prepare for a life that unites faith with knowledge. What no one person or congregation can do alone, we’re doing together.

On Sunday, November 24th, PUMC will be celebrating United Methodist Student Day. Many young people from PUMC have been recipients of scholarships and grants because of this special offering. Please give generously. Thank you!


THANK YOU for all the coat donations! Because of your generosity, we were able to donate 71 coats to children in need!

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Let's join with the Salvation Army’s efforts to “do the most good” for those in need around our community and the world by joining with them this Christmas season.

We would again like to support the Salvation Army by “ringing the bells” again this holiday season.

We are looking for a lay member to champion the Salvation Army Bell Ringing effort this year. If you would be interested in stepping up as the "event coordinator" for this mission, please contact the office asap!


The PUMC Food Pantry will be having a Holiday Food Drive this year. We will be asking the congregation to bring donations on the following Sundays: Nov.17; Nov. 24 & Dec. 1.

We will have lists of items we need divided and assigned alphabetically at the Welcome Center. We hope to ensure the pantry recipients have a food filled, wonderful Christmas season. All donations are greatly appreciated!


We have been blessed with the opportunity to again offer holiday food baskets with ham, perishables and food staples for the holidays. We will prepare the food baskets after church on Sunday, December 15th-come join us!

Approximately 30 baskets will be distributed on Tuesday, December 17th and Thursday, December 19th from 9-11:00am. We need 3-4 helpers on both days. Let Gloria or Nancy know when you can help!

If your team, small group or family would like to purchase an item for our baskets (ie: 30 cartons of eggs, 30 gallons of milk, ect.) contact the church office.


We continue to collect snack items for students at Dunlap Grade School. All snacks must be individually packaged and nut free. This month, we will be collecting breakfast bars and goldfish. You can drop off your donations to the church office and we will deliver the items once a month.

South Side Mission Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations

South Side Mission provides special meals to those in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of dollars of donations make it possible to prepare and deliver 3400 meals at each holiday.

Volunteers are needed on Wednesday, November 27th help assemble Thanksgiving Meals at South Side Mission for various time slots. You may also sign up to be a meal deliverer on Thanksgiving morning (shifts begin at 8:30).

To volunteer, follow the link below or you can call 309-676-4604.

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New Members and Baptism

We know how difficult it is to get everyone together on the same Sunday, so are excited to announce that we will work to welcome new members/schedule baptisms based on the best options for your family schedules. Please contact Pastor Steve (or the church office) if you are interested in learning more about membership and/or baptism (for yourself or your children).


Miss a Sunday?!

No problem! Our Sunday sermons are now posted on-line! You can find them on our website and Facebook page!

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Our kids aren’t (or shouldn’t be) the only ones still in school. As a church that wants to help you grow deep in Jesus so that we can reach wide for Jesus, we believe that Bible study and small groups are essential for our individual and corporate lives. You can join at any time, there is always room for you!

ALL-CHURCH LUNCHEON: Meets on the last Tuesday of the month at Noon; potluck, open invitation

CAMILLA SMALL GROUP, Wednesday evenings @ 7:00 PM - Mary Pietreniak's house, women's group, open invitation. We will be reading the book One Minute After You Die by: Erwin Lutzer

DEEPER STILL 10:00 Sunday mornings - Conference room, open invitation

BIBLE STUDIES: Breakfast with Jesus

Tuesday mornings from 8:30-9:30, open invitation (more details below)

(Feel free to contact the church if you're interested in starting/hosting a group at another time and/or location.)

Breakfast with Jesus

Our Tuesday morning group meets at 8:30 am in the church’s conference room. Contact the church office if you would like more information about either group, or would like to talk to Pastor Steve about forming your own midweek or Sunday morning small group for intentional Bible study, Christian discipleship and fellowship!


Methodist Men will meet again on Monday, November 4th at 6:00pm. Please consider joining us for our meetings and events. All are welcome-young and old!!! Enjoy the good food & company! If there are questions, let Randy Juskiv know @


Mary Martha will meet on Monday, November 25th at 7:00pm!

Please consider joining us this fall! We give to ministries that include Crittenten, Lessie Bates Neighborhood House East St. Louis, Cunningham Children's home, Silent Auction, Chaddock Christmas Child, 100% of our funds are given to mission. We welcome all ladies to join us!

*Bake Sale Prep: Sat. November 23rd @ 2pm

*Bake Sale: Sun. November 24th


Our last 2019 gathering will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, November 11, to discuss We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by Jose Andres. Led by Chef Andres, a team of volunteers, including other chefs, fed hundreds of thousands in Puerto Rico after the terrible devastation of Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017. Many of the Americans living on the island were without clean water, food, electricity, gas, and means of communication or travel. They were desperately in need of assistance in order to survive (and, sadly, many did not survive the hurricane and aftermath).

Questions? Suggestions for books to discuss? Contact Nancy Varness at hvarness@mchsi or call 309-274-8124.

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Thank you to everyone who helped with the Homecoming Parade!


We would just like to thank everyone who signs up to help with Soul Cafe, whether it be bringing treats/drinks or serving it is VERY appreciated. Many have truly been enjoying the fellowship in between the services!


Please see Mary Pietreniak if you are interested in serving or receiving home communion.

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Address Change

Glenn Oertley has moved to Apt 102 in Evergreen Senior Living in Chillicothe. He’s enjoying being with long-time friends and making new ones.

His new address is
404 Stillwater Drive
Chillicothe, IL 61523

New phone number is 309-270-3102
Email address remains


Dear PUMC Family--Your presence prevails, thank you for the wonderful support in the silence during our recent time of illness and recovery. Many thanks for the prayers and well wishes. -Rick and Carol Boyer
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Choir is back and happy to start the 2019-2020 season! However, we do need more singers. We only have ensembles, as you've noticed. If you can't make it to Wednesday practices at 7:00 PM, come join us at 8:15 on Sunday mornings. We will practice each Sunday's song at that time. Send Carla Hogan a text or call for more info! 635-6384

Bells practice starts November 20th. There will be NO PRACTICE for Bells or Choir on November 27th.

Please join us! As a member of the choir once said, "Not only is it fun, but it's good exercise."

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What a fun time we had at Trunk or Treat. The weather was perfect - sunny, light breeze, and 68 degrees!!! Thanks to everyone who filled our parking lot with cars, vans, and trucks and plenty of treats for our kids. A special thanks to the Methodist Men for providing, cooking and serving the hot dogs and to Bonnie and Judy for the delicious mac n cheese. It was a great day!!

Starting on Sunday, November 17, we will be offering a new Sunday School class for our kids 3 years old – first grade in the lower level from 10:00 – 10:45. The class will meet on the following dates:

Sunday, November 17

Sunday, December 1

Sunday, December 15

Mark your calendars!!! Everyone is invited to our Happy Birthday, Jesus party on Sunday, December 22 during the Sunday School time. We will have yummy snacks, fun crafts, and a great time celebrating the birth of Jesus.

And looking ahead to January, we will be planning a movie night. More details to follow.


Purple Panda Preschool took a whole school field trip to Tanner’s Orchard during the afternoon on October 18 and had a wonderful time picking apples, eating donuts, touring the facilities, and playing on the playground. We celebrated Halloween with a costume parade in the Fellowship Hall and class parties. Our students had the cutest costumes and everyone had a great time! The classes have been busy learning about fall, and have done hands on activities with apples and pumpkins. Pre-K planted bulbs in the PUMC Memorial Garden with Barb Wickness. Our Three Year olds have really been enjoying lots of hands on projects and their sensory table. Our upcoming Thanksgiving break will be through Wednesday, November 27 until Sunday, December 1st. Classes will resume on Monday, November 26. We still have some openings for three year olds and limited openings in the Pre-K afternoon class.

If you are interested in enrollment, please contact me through Dani in the Church office at 243-7300 or E-mail me at Students must be 3 years old and fully potty trained to begin preschool!

After Care is also is full swing and we have a great group of kiddos! Registration remains open for full time, part time and drop-in students. Applications for new/returning students for the 2019-2020 school year are available in the church office. Contact Dani if you would like to register your child for after care!

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Right Now Ministry (online small group and devotional resources)

Prospect subscribes to the RightNowMinistry (“the Netflix of Christian Bible study”) resource, which provides all of our members with access to 1000’s of video led curriculums including offerings specifically geared towards books of the Bible, Parenting, Marriage, Single Living, Men, Women, Teens, Children, Leadership and Finances from a Christian perspective, and more.

Contact Pastor Steve if you do not have access to the site (or have forgotten your log-in).

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Prospect UMC

Lifting Up Christ; Looking In to meet one another’s spiritual and physical needs; Reaching Out to love and serve others.
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